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Will Ravens draft another WR again in first round?

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Will Ravens draft another WR again in first round?

Should the Ravens consider drafting a wide receiver in the first round for the second straight year?

If they do, the early money would be on Mississippi wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. He is generally considered the top wide receiver in the draft, and could be available for the Ravens, who hold the No. 6 pick.

However, the Ravens also need a pass rusher and help in the secondary, and have uncertainty at left tackle. The Ravens have never taken a wide receiver with their first pick in back-to-back years. Would taking Treadwell in the first round, after drafting wide receiver Breshad Perriman in the first round last year, be the best way to utilize the No. 6 pick?

In his latest mock draft, CSN’s Ben Standig has the Ravens taking Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson at No. 6, with Treadwell going No. 7 to the 49ers.

That scenario makes sense. The Ravens need to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and the Ravens have two veteran pass rushers to mentor Lawson – Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs, who is recovering from Achilles surgery.

However, wide receiver is definitely a need for the Ravens. Steve Smith Sr. will be 37 years old next season, coming off knee surgery. Perriman missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury. Kamar Aiken, the team’s most productive receiver last year, is a restricted free agent.

What happens in free agency will definitely influence the Ravens’ draft decisions. If they sign a veteran wide receiver in March, the chances of the Ravens’ drafting Treadwell are slim. However, if the Ravens don’t sign a veteran receiver, and Treadwell is still on the board at No. 6, he’ll be tempting. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper likens Treadwell’s skill set to Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

“He has tremendous hands, huge hands, great size, but the comparisons to Alshon Jeffery are accurate,” Kiper said during a conference call. “But Alshon Jeffery was a second-round pick. We’re talking about a top-10 pick here. So he’s got to run well enough (at the combine or pro day) to warrant being that high a pick.”

Imagine a Ravens’ offense next season with Perriman healthy and playing up to expectations, Treadwell playing like Jeffery, and Smith Sr. back at 100 percent. Can’t you see Joe Flacco smiling?

However, taking Treadwell at No. 6 could burn the Ravens if he doesn’t live up to expectations. That’s one of many things for the Ravens to consider, as they prepare for a crucial draft.

[RELATED: Today's Q & A: Is Browns' Benjamin a Ravens target?]

 

 

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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